THE ASIA MARKET
Asia and the Pacific is the largest remittance market in the world, having received in 2017 an estimated US$248 billion, equivalent to 55 per cent of global flows to developing countries. India, China and Philippines are the three greatest remittance-receiving countries globally by volume.
In Asia, remittances contribute more than ten times official development assistance (ODA). More importantly, remittances lift millions of Asian households out of absolute poverty, and provide millions more with the opportunity to improve their housing, health and education. All told, it is estimated that 70 million Asian households are supported by remittances – one out of every ten.
The opportunities, particularly in Asia-Pacific, are the sheer size of the remittance market, its leverage for financial inclusion, the application of new technologies and the focus and commitment of the public sector. However, there are many challenges to be overcome, such as de-risking and how to remain profitable and how to balance inclusion with profitability so that services can be offered/expanded.